I have thought from early on that the revelation of the government’s massive surveillance operation is a good thing and little that has happened in the past few days has altered that opinion. Already, we are seeing some good coming out of Edward Snowden’s revelations: Google is asking to publish more information; a bipartisan group of Senators want this dragged out into the open; the ACLU is suing. The result of all this … Read more
Tag Archive: Law
But is regulatory despair?
Nearly all development economists agree that good institutions—legislatures, courts, administrative agencies—are crucial. When poor countries improve their institutions, economic growth soon accelerates. But what about rich countries? If poor countries can get rich by improving their institutions, is it not possible that rich countries can get poor by allowing their institutions to degenerate? I want to suggest that it is.
Consider the evidence from the annual “Doing Business” reports from
I want to address a point that came up in our discussion of the the Kaitlyn Hunt case last week (which is turning out to be a little more complicated than my initial post). No one questions that Kaitlyn was in literal violation of the law. She was an 18-year-old who has sexual contact with a 14-year-old, which is illegal in Florida (and most other states). So shouldn’t we enforce the law? Whatever we may … Read more
Just fucking great:
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has claimed that agents do not need warrants to read people’s emails, text messages and other private electronic communications, according to internal agency documents.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which obtained the documents through a Freedom of Information Act request, released the information on Wednesday.
In a 2009 handbook, the IRS said the Fourth Amendment does not protect emails because Internet users “do not have
Going to be an interesting week for the Court. They are having hearings now on both DOMA and California’s same sex marriage ban. We won’t know their decision for a while. My guess is that they will strike down parts of DOMA and possibly California’s amendment but on very narrow grounds that fall short of declaring a “right” to marriage. That would be my preferred outcome at this stage. I would prefer that this issue … Read more
I’m working on a 10-Year-Anniversary of Iraq post for, uh, two days ago. In the meantime, check out the Daily News‘s front page on the collapse of the federal assault weapons ban. Most people try to be a bit subtle in implying that people who oppose gun control are murdering children. Not the Daily News.
They’re called national security letters and the FBI issues thousands of them a year to banks, phone companies and other businesses demanding customer information. They’re sent without judicial review and recipients are barred from disclosing them.
On Friday, a federal judge in San Francisco declared the letters unconstitutional, saying the secretive demands for customer data violate the First Amendment.
The government has failed to show that the letters and the blanket
You really should read Dave Kopel’s (PDF) prepared testimony for yesterday’s hearing on the assault weapons ban. It’s absolutely devastating to the case for it, showing that it is nebulous, far-reaching and likely to be ineffective at best.
“Doing something” is the slogan for politicians who seek merely to exploit terrible crimes for self-serving purposes. “Doing something effective” is the approach of people who want to save lives and protect the public, especially children.
The Gang of Eight (I guess) release the outline of immigration reform today. Let’s go through it.
1. Create a tough but fair path to citizenship for unauthorized immigrants currently living in the United States that is contingent upon securing our borders and tracking whether legal immigrants have left the country when required;
Putting aside the proclamation, they propose increases in the border patrol and tracking entry and exit for visa holders. It will also … Read more
Having thought about Barack Obama’s gun plan, I’m still convinced that most of it is a non-issue: the government doing what it is supposed to do with background checks and enforcing laws. The only issue that is likely to be really contentious is the assault weapons ban (and related bans on high-capacity magazines).
I oppose the ban for a number of reasons, the biggest of which is that I think it will be ineffective. There … Read more